Hot Take: The Other Side of the Door does three things: (1) It uses the “jump scare” tactic frequently, (2) makes gratuitous use of the “evil child” mechanism and (3) Makes you wish a sage Indian woman was standing outside of the theater to warn you, “Whatever you do, don’t open the door to the theater of The Other Side of the Door.” Oh! And it complete rips off Stephen King’s Pet Semetary, too.
It’s not that The Other Side of the Door is awful but in comparison to the 1989 horror film Pet Semetary based on the 1983 Stephen King novel of the same name, the movie doesn’t even come close to being anywhere near as scary or disturbing. Actually, it’s as if someone saw Pet Semetary and thought it would be better if the film would be better with less of a back story and more focus on the main character seemingly going into a state of psychosis rather than the actual horror of unleashing hell by messing with the dead.
The Other Side of the Door uses the “jump scare” tactic unnecessarily, as well. We’re often found accompanying Maria (Sarah Wayne Callies) into her nightmarish dreams where the writer and director can do whatever they feel necessary to get the audience to jump. Eventually, they don’t even bother with taking Maria to dreamland to allow her to see whatever the heck she wants that will likely have you jump again.
In the end, the film feels like a complete waste of time if only because so much of the tale is lifted from Pet Semetary. Sure, there’s slight changes but some scenes can be compared almost shot for shot which is especially when the actual plot and characters are essentially different.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Sarah Wayne Callies
Callies does the best with what she has to work with.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Evil Child
One has to guess that 90% of all spec scripts for horror films involve an evil child in some way, shape or form. So far this year, all four horror films including this one, featured an evil child.
- It Feels Like Plagiarism
If I were a high school teacher and this were a creative writing class, I would send the writer of The Other Side of the Door to the Principal’s office.